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Divine Intervention
by Simon Faust

 
He allowed the darkening edges to flicker across the ashen features that so stretched across his skull. Muscles tensed and shuddered within their facial confines. Blood stood supine within the delicate and skimpy features.

What else was expected from one of the dead?

The trim and near serpentine shift of each yellow tinged orb settled into his sockets, was anything but humane.

The slight stubble of auburn hair decorating his gaunt head, seeming little but furrows of complex design. A Labyrinth of grooves and bushy niches at best. The grim features swiftly led to the conspicuously haggard frame. A mesh of dingy black and ruby blood rags danced a spurring melee across his body. Spindly limbs of bare thickness and a vapid expanse of flesh skimming each pour and crevice made up the basic consistence of his metabolism and structure. Feet were adorned with little but the dirt and grime of the surrounding beggar's halls.

The thin thermal body suit laid beneath the flippant rags keeping his cold frame heated in the mimicry of life.

Death chills the body.

Blood fuels the Wise.

Insanity begets Sagacity.

The motto's of life.

The dry and somewhat hoarse chuckle that escaped the parched and nosferatic lips, seemed little but a whisper amidst the blackest of night. Shadows danced their marionette like skirmish across the cobbled street beneath. He noticed not, for his thoughts seemed fixated on the aspects of life and death. Of the strange strangle hold he kept on this imitation of living. His hand came to press over the ill-beating heart within a bony rib cage.

Long slim digits splayed over and among the flitting rags of red and black.

His smile intensified and grew, the dried husky lips cracking and splitting before the stimuli of long dead muscles.

What was life without death?

An age-old question of balance. So little the humans knew, but that was to be expected with such a short time to live. Life without death was more existence. Eternity.

The gift of blood soaked up from the living.

Scavengers of the daywalker, and seemingly unfit for life itself. Yet still he clung. Life in death had no meaning. Yet still he clung.

Scavenging off the living was a vultures work, yet here he was to sit and wait for a mortal to venture his or her way across his path just so that he might live on. Or was it death renewed?

The smile broadened evermore with the reclusive thoughts. Each new branch of evidence or fact heading into the triplet of paths and onward, until there lay before his mindscape an infinite number of paths and walk ways that stretched towards the horizon of the ether and beyond. What was life without death? A good question indeed.

He sat upon his haunches, huddled within the alleys and back streets of a city unnamed. Not for lack of interest no, or for lack of time perish the thought, but for the simplistic senility, that so tumbled amidst his thoughts, that it seemed like ages since he had remembered the very words meaning. Long lost thoughts and questions lay huddled and hidden within the back of his mind, each questioning is own definition, and soon folding over the older theories and delving into the new. Little was left behind for thought, as it simply ceased to exist after the next one's entreaty.

The life of a Vampire was never closed minded.

He watched as the ever-present lifestyles of the short lived and "Low born" as the kinship of fellows so called them, milled and lingered before him. The yellowish orbs flickering to and fro, following the gentle swish of a passing blonde and the flirtatious swagger of a female's perfect dream.

His hands drifted towards the dirt ridden and garbage heaped floors beneath, pushing off with a simple and subtle effort, spindly fingers trailing behind him quietly.

The long sinuous movements and the gentle persuasion of the unseeing, were sent ghosting across his frame. Slight of hand and soft of step offering to the floor beneath, even as the dark figure ghosted across the alleyway. Slim and supple gait was given as he drifted into the pale and sterile glow of the lamp light above. A squint of quiet eyes, and a shift of his right shoulder, sent the ebony mallet, strangely ornate and ostentatious in design and being, the croquet hammer gently clapping over his hip as each step proceeding the last. The slim bag of leather that seemed to stitch itself into his very flesh jangled and swayed with the movements and notions. Long patient strides across the floors beneath, offered little to the vision of the average mortal, each by passing him as another face in the crowd. This literal storybook freak ignored by the populace through a simple manipulation of the mind. A quiet thought implanted into every person's mindscape. An aversion.

He ghosted across the granite and pavement, the vulture's eyes traversing the very currents of polluted air, stagnant and retched to those that surrounded him. To those that breathed. Yet still he walked on, passing through the fine mist of a sewer grating, emitting its length of streaming wisps. The bare clad feet, gently padding over torn and pebbled pavement, as the roads cleared of traffic momentarily, the blear and blur of head lights gone from the peripheral, but briefly.

Each step took him closer to the other side of the street, his gaze never falling from its perch across the building.

His hands swaying tenderly almost at his sides, the incessant honk of a by passing vehicle. Stranger yet, the swish and passing currents of air by the autos that didn't notice him.

Gently he hit the curb of pavement across the street, a ball of heel striking rough granite, and going unnoticed as its predecessor took its tumble from the moment of life.

Long strident movements of patient fascination announced his arrival upon the thirty-second street. Long moments of disillusioned silence echoing off the inner sanctum of his mind.

He scaled the wall.

Not so much a gargoyle, sinking its claws within the rough granite.

Not so much a ghost, floating his way towards the upper regions of the ledge.

But a simple step across a fire escape, and a gliding ease of silken movement.

Still life continued below. Unnoticed. Unbroken.

He watched.

The windowpane was smudged and covered by the stagnant grime of the city. The rustic metal bars lining its frame already beginning to degrade beneath the wearying lengths of time. The fogged glass chilled beneath his breath and the autumns own. The gentleness that crept through the swirling hazy yellows of each visionary orb, was none too subtle, for the picture within held something that would chill even the most stillborn of hearts.

She lay quietly within her comforter, a solemn child of no more then eight years. Long strands of dark raven hair left in a puddle across her tenderly plush pillow. Features remained quiet and desolate drained of blood and emotion both, yet still clinging to some semblance of life.

The deep shade of depthless violet that stained her eyes with each new awakening of her dozing self. Long lashes dappled at her cheeks, as the lids opened and closed gently. Her hands lay above the thick comforter, settled straight beside her sheathed frame. Long moments of silence that echoed throughout the room, even as the dim illumination of the dingy apartments outside hall shone into her room, the door left ajar by a slight margin.

The gentle ghost of breath went unnoticed behind the marred and slim windowpane, his eyes continuing to watch the quiet figure, unmoving in his zeal and patience.

Each new written length of seconds past left little across his features by way of boredom, the fascination never dwindling. Never ceasing.

He stayed quiet across the heavy bar of the fire escape, hunched within the Obfuscated shadows. The yellowed gaze flickering towards the doorway, as a slim figure gently plied it open. The mother stood quietly a moment beside her daughter's bed, hands clasped before her and planted along the white apron. Pinkish hued dress smudged through the endless toil of day to day work.

He smiled quietly as the mother's hand stroked back a stray lock of raven hair, tucking it beside the gaunt features, a momentary caress of supple tender flesh laid gently along the pale cheek. It went unnoticed. Still the girl slept on, quietly drowned within the depthless spiral towards death's doorway. A disease so vile and twisted, yet intricately fascinating in its myriadical melee of incurable infection. The cancer had eaten away at her immune system, and was slowly working its way into her heart, dimming its beat less and less every day. The quiet flood of sleep grew longer every night, and slowly she seemed to drift off into the eternal depths.

His smile faded as the tears came unbidden to the mother's eyes, gently flowing down into the comforter's density, lost.

The tears remained unnoticed.

He sighed a gentle exhalation, as the mother fled from the bedside, hands pressed to her sides gently, a ghost of mouthed words seen through the window pane.

"I love you my Baby girl."

Then darkness as the door shut out the light.

For every hour of her awakening, which stood few and far from the morning doses of medicine, he watched.

Yellow eyes followed every twitch and hacking exhalation, weak for lack of will and strength both. His head tilted off to the side gently with the passing of every other hour, the perturbed thoughts gleaning at the rain swept skies, as if to search for the answers to questions unasked.

Nothing new in that aspect of thinking.

He would watch from his raven's perch atop the rustic fire escape, as the quiet solitude of the little girls being stretched longer and farther into the abyss. The gaunt features slowly becoming sunken and deprived of nutrition and protein. Cheeks lay taut across brittle bone.

Deep violet eyes unsettling within their sockets, dilated and trembling with every waking breath. Obsidian locks that seemed to brush the alabaster cheek, and encircled her tiny face with its cumulative depths.

The slim spindly fingertips shuddered across the fogged window pane, gently streaking their Oil-free trail over the chilled surface. The yellowed vision pleaded with the inner depths of the room, wishing but a moment or two more of the twilight that had invaded from the outer hall, yet denied as the darkness pervaded along the walls and carpeting silencing the room once more.

Time stretched on quick and quiet, the distances slowly churning from minutes to hours.

To days… To weeks...

To months...

Then...

He sat along his usual rustic grate perch of metallic bars and welded bolts, hunched with his legs crossed before him. The crisp winter breath had set the crimson and ebony rags so adorning his wiry frame to snapping. The yellowish orbs centred on a single circle of fog cleared glass, peering through the windows frame and into the quiet abode.

The scene within unfolded like something from a mime's opera. The dark shadows of a worried parent, and the frosted patches beneath her eyes were all to evident.

Long fidgeting digits trailed across the thick hem of the apron, even as the tears flowed across ashen cheeks, watching from her position by the doorway, feint of heart causing a leaning across the heavy wooden doorframe.

The man hunched forth quietly, cheap instruments of medical value gently flickering left and right, disappearing into a black briefcase just as swiftly as they appeared.

The pristine and supine shape of the miniature child so huddled within her blankets. The raven locks had been pushed to either side, in order to feel for a fair throat pulse. Blankets shorn free of their moorings to allow an examination of limb and torso. The brown tailored suit and greyish moustache twitching betwixt the worried frown of a failed physician and the constant scrutiny of possible hope.

The brown suit slipped from beside the bed and out the door, a brief shake of his head and a grave consolation of a comforting pat on the mother's shoulder all that was given. No words spoken as the weeping continued a torrent of tears flowing past the paler features. The figure collapsed inwards, curling in on her pitifully, weeping near the edges of miseries doorstep.

He watched this all, took this quiet and remorseful scene in stride, his face depicting the briefest most transient of frowns towards the grieving mother. His fingers gently splayed across the metallic grating, careless of the biting cold that seeped into the long dead digits. Gaining a closer observance point, he watched as the mother's crying continued, the child's gentle cough going unnoticed in the weeping barrage.

The hour dawned into the later reserves, minutes ticking past and gone uncaring of the small tragedy that seeped within. He watched quietly within his huddled perch, within the cold and chilling air, life below continuing on as if the world were perfect. People strummed along the streets chatting with lovers or friends of another. Axis swirled anew with each passing minute, stretching longer and deeper into the delving thoughts and patient eye blink of times passage.

He observed quietly as the mother slipped towards the bedside gently stroking the child's hair into place once more, kissing the brow oh so tenderly, before excusing herself from the Cancer ridden body's presence.

He watched as darkness engulfed the room once more, shadows dancing their forever ballet across the walls and ceiling. Her once more sheathed frame quietly darkened among the light-lacking portrait. She slept within the darkness...

A tomb of Sorrow.

Cracked ice was sent shattering and drifting towards the cobbled pavement below, even as the long since used panels of sliding wood and metal were sent upwards.

Long spindly fingers pulled the window shut once more, even as he drifted into the darkness of the Lamentation scene. The yellowish orbs were sent spiralling around the room a flicker of fingertips sending a stream of sterile and ambient light across the edges of the carpeting, a measly lamp to the side offering what little it could.

The flowing vision settled supine across the porcelain figure. Gently he plied at the edges of the comforter, the ebony mallet suddenly plodding down across the soft folds of cotton, the yellowish eyes flickering across the deep set and sunken features of so tiny a child.

So tiny.

So vulnerable.

Dying.

He smiled faintly as he heard the weeping from without, the mother's lament continuing quietly to her, even as the yellow-eyed Jester of the night stroked a pale cheek free of the raven tinged halo.

The touch elicited a flicker of violet and a kindly whisper.

"Are you god?"

The very question couldn't be helped but cause a deep chuckle to flicker past thin lips, spittle seeping deep into the comforters thick folds, yet still the sound was hushed.

God indeed. Anything from the truth.

Yet...

He was here. Taking such a small life within his hands, quietly watching as it ebbed away into the abyss from whence it came. Life was his to give.

Or was it Death?

He chuckled again a little louder now that his thoughts might come back to this same point. Yellow eyes flickered upwards to peer back into the depths of those weakened violet eyes. Long lashes caressed alabaster flesh, and his smile failed to return again.

"No child I am not God. The messenger of someone, But certainly not the so-called supreme from up top. I'm here to ask something."

Her body struggled to raise itself upon propping pillows and elbows, hacking cough erupting gentle and quiet as the body took its toll from the fettered movement. He leant forward to help her settle against the headboard of the pristine sheeted bed. Long slim digits sharply akin to her own, causing a momentary frown to flicker across her features, even as the violet gaze levelled with his own.

"Are you sick too?"

He smiled at such innocence, and allowed the token facial gesture to show, his head shaking gently before shrugging and nodding within the next moment. It brought a flicker of confusion then acceptance from the child.

"Might I ask you a question child?"

The words came several dozen-heart beats past, the moments of silence gazing at each other filled with little awkwardness.

She nodded.

"What is it you want?"

The silence this time was longer, filled with a pregnant pause so complete he thought for a moment that she had expired right there and then, and his hand stretched forth towards her neck. Only when she flinched away from the movement did he realise she was thinking.

Moments passed.

"I wish I could make my mommy happy."

The words were truth simple and direct. Lacking none of the innocence from old, and it brought a solemn inquisition to his ashen face. His head tilted off and across the left bony shoulder, watching her quietly from his perch on the comforter.

"What would please your mother most child?"

The little girl blinked quietly from her place within the cotton folds. Violet eyes regarded him with a rational observance. Her hands folded before her, slim bone visible fingers intertwining gentle for fear of the brittle nature cracking. Her eyes left his ashen face and swivelled through the dark to peer at her doorway, remaining fixated quietly on the wooden portal and the distant sound of hushed weeping.

Her gaze returned matured beyond years of innocence and childhood.

"I want to get better so she can stop being sad."

He smiled within the darkness watching her quietly, the flickering illumination of the lamplight only serving to shadow his face further. Long tendrils of shadows danced a myriad melee along his slim torso and arms, even as he leant forward gently, eyes flickering with her own, his nod slight and quiet, even as she closed her violets gently and laid back into the comforter's and pillows beneath and around her.

She lay quietly, curled up on the ratty couch of olden days, her eyes screwed tightly shut as the dim flicker of tears streaked across her pale cheeks. Her arms lay cradled about her stomach, trying to keep the wave of nauseous from bubbling tot he surface, even as the weeping continued uncontrolled. Long hours of silence passed with nothing but her lamentation filling the currents of dead air.

A soft creak.

Her eyes shot open, a disdainful hope cracking the visage of sorrow even as she whirled within her seat, peering down and across the carpeting stained and ragged, and up into the quiet and solemn violet of her daughters eyes.

The child stood quietly on the pink carpet, her delicate hands folded before her, slim and loose pyjama's hanging gently about her form even as she peered at her mother quietly. Torso and spindly limbs held her weight of little more then forty pounds upright, though this seemed impossible.

The mother gasped involuntarily, even as she slipped from off the couch quietly her hand coming to her mouth gently, tears flowing anew in disbelieving joy.

"Mama?"

The word broke the moment of silence and reverie, and the mother ran to embrace her small daughter gently, crying into the tiny shoulder, even as she in turn was hugged quietly by a tender being, alabaster cheeks upturned in a flickering smile of happiness.

All the while he stood within his raven's perch watching the family once more join quietly in their time of reunion.

His hands planted before him even as he settled back onto his haunches of crimson and ebony rags. Long spindly fingers stroked the metallic grating beneath even as the yellowed orbs gleamed with an inner tranquillity.

The fogged window kept his figure at bay from being spied, yet still he could peer through the simple circle of cleared glass, and watch as the embrace of mother and daughter came to fruition.

He smiled quietly.

What was life without death?

Joy.

-- Simon Faust


 
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